Miss Deaf SA is an annual beauty pageant showcasing undiscovered talent in the deaf society of South Africa and creating life changing experiences and other opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired young girls.
The pageant aims to cross the communication gap between the deaf and hearing communities.
Here’s what Miss Deaf SA finalist, Vega student and creative soul, Shelley Buckle, has
to say about the pageant.
What would the title: Miss Deaf SA mean to you?
The title would mean a chance for me to be a role model for hearing impaired people. It would be a dream that has come true for me – I’ve always wanted to be an inspiration to others.
Holding this title also ensures my entry into Miss Deaf World and Miss Deaf International where I would represent South Africa against many other countries.
What sort of contribution would you make as titleholder?
I plan to increase awareness of the deaf community by creating a bridge between hearing-and hearing-impaired people. I am passionate about reaching out to underprivileged hearing-impaired children and want to encourage the learning of sign language for hearing people. Possibly create an online community where hearing and deaf people can connect.
Which challenges do deaf people face that you think hearing people are completely oblivious to?
Deaf people are often not included in social activities because of their inability to follow a conversation in large groups. Following movies can also be a challenge because accents are often hard to understand.
Sometimes hearing people assume that by having a hearing aid, you are able to hear in the same way as they do, whereas a hearing aid is actually a tool to assist hearing.
As a creative soul, what inspires you most?
I am a very artistic person and I appreciate any form of art. At the moment I’m focusing on web design and animation, so art in this form tends to inspire me the most creatively.
If you could go back 10 years and tell your young-self one thing, what would that one thing be?
Stay true to yourself. Don’t try to change yourself for anyone. It’s not worth it.
Show your support and encouragement for Shelley on her Miss Deaf SA facebook profile.
By Wynandt Verster